By now, I am getting picky in photographing sea tulips. But I still did these ones because they looked different.
These sea tulips look very much like the one shown in Australian Marine Life (Graham J Edgar's book). So I would think they are Pyura australis. But these didn't have stalks! In fact they were fused into one together with the wireweed (Amphibolis species). Anyway, the arrow - that's where something just popped out that made me jump!
WORMS! They never fail to give me the creeps. Marine or not.
And I was so happy that I have stuck to Chai's Rule for Beachcombing No. 1 : Never touch anything with your bare hands. At all.
And I don't like the way they wiggle :(
But well, this small of clump of sea tulips and seagrass is home to some hydroids too. How amazing that you can find several taxonomic groups co-existing in a clump.
I wasn't so sure about it initially. But after looking up a few books, I think the red arrow points to a bunch of hydroids. The black one points to some seaweed or algae. Hydroids are animals. In fact the feather-like structure is a colony of many tiny polyps. As typical of cnidarians, these guys sting. Their more famous hydrozoan relatives that are also colonies (not single animals) - the blue bottle (Physalis physalis) and By the wind sailor (Velella velella).
Another shot of them. Both were attached to the stalk of a wireweed - again! What a wonderful seagrass it is, providing a surface to live on for other animals and plants.
The first 4 photos were taken at South Beach, Freo; the last two, South Cottesloe beach.
3 months ago